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Awards night inspires tourism board

THE Wimmera Mallee Tourism Board have been inspired to encourage more  businesses from the region  to nominate themselves for the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards. 

Yarriambiack Shire Council Cr Helen Ballentine and Wimmera Mallee Tourism Chief Executive Lauren McBriaty and representatives from the Wimmera Mallee region attended the awards recently. 

Mrs Ballentine said although Wimmera groups didn’t secure any awards, she said they are looking to 2020 to incentivise tourism companies to nominate their businesses, further promoting the Wimmera. 

“We have to admit we were all there as well to learn about the significance of the awards,” Cr Ballentine said. 

“We have thought about what and who we could nominate for future awards at this prestigious event as we have some great tourism products in the Wimmera Mallee region.”

Hindmarsh councillors Ron Ismay and Graeme Milne from Wimmera Mallee  also attended to support operator of Sea Lake Tyrell Tours Julie Pringle.

The highlight was Murray Outback Adventures winning their third gold award for their tour business based in Red Cliffs. 

Peter and Jeanie Kelly have been operating out of Mildura for the past two and a half years, the tours run from the far north west of the state, where the Murray meets the outback.

Mr Kelly was formerly a Mallee CMA Officer, so he knows the region well, and this helps with his tour expertise.

Their company provides tailored tours , exploring Mallee tracks, redgum forests and open landscapes. 

In just their second year of operation, Murray Offroad are industry leaders and committed advocates for the region they love.

Business Owner Jeanie Kelly said if more operators nominated in the Wimmera Mallee region, it could only improve tourism prospects. 

“It would be great for more businesses to jump on for awards. It’s an awful lot of work, but it’s just great for the business. It’s a good way to reflect back on the business and just remember all the good things  you’ve done and directs your thinking for next years business,” Mrs Kelly said. 

“The more that could jump in and do it, the more we can attract to the region.” 

She said success in the tourism industry lies in having a strong network among other businesses within the community. 

“You can’t be clicky with just one business, it’s all the businesses working together. -  It’s all about helping each other out,” she said. 

“Listen to each other as much as possible, don’t get precious with your own business. Be open to other businesses and how you can help each other. You’ve got to have passion for the particular area you’re in. 

“No one is going to travel to Mildura just for one businesses so all of us have to work together.”

The RACV awards acknowledges businesses which have promoted their region, which fosters a culture for development excellence and innovation.

Groups can enter in the fields of attractions; festivals and events either; tour and/or transport operators and accommodation. 

The Awards have helped the Victorian Tourism body for over 30 years. 

Wimmera Mallee Tourism are wanting to support businesses interested in developing, renovating, revamping their tourism products and Lauren McBriarty is the person to contact. 

Their team would like to support anyone who decides to nominate themselves for an award, just keep in touch.